Online groups, autumn 2013
A member asked how to tell a translator what text not to translate. For example, usually these types of content are not translated: samples of code, database table names, and file names. The member uses MadCap Flare. He does not use MadCap Lingo to prepare the content for translation (www.madcapsoftware.com/products/lingo). Instead, he sends the MadCap Flare project to the translators.
With a termbase, you can specify the approved and the not-approved technical nouns and technical verbs. Possibly, a termbase is not sufficient. For groups of words and for sentences such as error messages, a translation memory system is necessary.
Possibly, use translation management software. An advantage of translation management software is that you can prepare the translation before you send it to the translator. Some examples:
- Add comments to each translation pair to give instructions about the translation.
- Lock a translation pair so that the translator cannot change it.
- Attach reference material.
A member is writing a manufacturing manual for hardware. He must include photographs of the assembly process. Usually, the member uses either illustrations or a professional photographer, but for this project, he must take the photographs. During the assembly process, large items will be put on a workbench.
Members suggested this equipment:
- Camera. Some members think that a digital SLR camera is necessary, but other members think that a good digital camera is sufficient. If necessary, use a camera that is on a mobile phone.
- Background. Choose a colour that is different from the subject. One member uses professional equipment. Other members write that coloured card is sufficient. For a white background, use a bed sheet or a paper tablecloth. A workbench gives the images a natural setting.
- Lighting. The lighting must not give shadows. Most workshop lighting is sufficient. As an alternative, use flash or LED lighting. Because flash can cause shadows, some people recommend studio lighting. Kitchen foil is useful to reflect light into dark areas. If the lighting is not good, use RAW format. RAW format gives the maximum quality for the image.
- Software for editing the images. Some cameras have simple editing software.
When you take photographs, do these things:
- Move the hardware or the camera to get a neutral background without unwanted objects.
- Be sure about the process that you want to show. Show the readers what they will see when they use the instructions. Take photographs from different angles, but do not take photographs from unusual angles.
- Take many photographs of each item and use the best photograph.
- Keep a wide border around the object. Possibly, you will have to rotate and crop the image.
- If necessary, take close-up photographs.
- Use the maximum resolution. You can decrease the resolution later.
- Make notes about the process. For example, did you remove a cover?
- Do not rush.
Adobe Technical Communication Suite is more expensive in the UK than in the US. A member wants to know whether he can buy a US version of the software and use it legally in the UK.
Members gave many opinions. One member spoke to Adobe customer services, who gave this reply:
- If you buy an imported version, you can use the software, but you do not get technical support.
- If you buy a UK version from a reseller, usually you get the same as from Adobe.
- If you buy a UK version from Adobe, you get full technical support.
Other software companies sell the same software for different prices. In Australia, "pricing is such a source of contention within Australia that executives from Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple have been summoned to appear before Australian Parliament to answer questions specifically about pricing" (www.dailytech.com/Update+Adobe+CEO+Dodges+Questions+on+Overpricing+in+Australia/article29902.htm).